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Petrochem industry seeks expansion of naphtha
Feb '08
The Thai Petrochemical Industry, which is lately being referred to as the IRPC Plc, is envisaging an entirely new investment of US $2.1 billion for a naphtha cracker and residue refinery that would aim to procure higher profits for the products. Besides, the main objective was to generate new by-products for future benefits.

Of the total investment, a sum of $1.5 billion will be used for the construction of naphtha cracker, while the remaining will be consumed for residue refinery plant.

Moreover, an earlier investment of $1.4 billion had already begun in 2007 and will run till 2011. This project is likely to increase the refining capacity to 260,000 barrels per day from the previous 215,000 barrels produced on an average.

On its completion, the IRPC refinery is expected to produce one million tons of naphtha per year and will also process it on the site itself.

The two projects would finish off by mid-2008 and would get ready for operation after the current oil refinery expansion completes its course. This in turn would generate more residues to meet the target of 300,000 tons a year from the current 100,000 tons.

IRPC Plc has already assigned 4,000 rai of land for the new plants at an existing petrochemical complex in Rayong. Besides, the company is expected to refine 190,000 barrels of oil a day, requiring revenue to rise by 5 percent from 200 billion baht of the previous year.

A major advantage is that high demand in global markets would help maintain the high prices of oil and chemical products in 2008 as well.

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